Photo Information

A Marine with 2nd Radio Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force, lands at Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue, N.C., during parachute operations, Sept. 2, 2015. The Marines jumped from an altitude of 1,250 feet. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Joey Mendez/ Released)

Photo by Cpl. Joey Mendez

2nd Radio Battalion remains ready

4 Sep 2015 | Cpl. Joey Mendez II Marine Expeditionary Force

The United States Marine Corps is recognized worldwide for its ability to deploy anywhere in the world within 24 hours due to amphibious insertions. However, they are also capable of performing insertions from the sky. 

Marines with 2nd Radio Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force, are among the few Marines who are capable of executing such a task, and showed their skills Sept. 1, 2015, at Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue, North Carolina, as they conducted static line jumping operations.

Radio Operators provide the skill of establishing communications for various units in areas where communication is not easily obtainable.

“With radio battalion we have ‘radio recon’ operators and when deployed they get attached to units such as 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion and it is important to have these individuals ready to insert with those teams and add that extra element the unit may need later on,” said Sgt. Alexander Bibber, the jumpmaster for the operation, from Freehold, New Jersey.

Ensuring the Marines are up to date with jumps is essential to the battalion’s personal mission and the overall mission of the Marine Corps.

“This training drives the readiness for the Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps, because at any time if we had to insert behind enemy lines, my Marines and sailors are ready to do it by air.”

The Marines added an extra real-life scenario element to the operation by jumping the 1,250 foot fall from two MV-22 Ospreys, with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 264, carrying notional combat loads including training rifles.

“The maximum weight for the parachute is 400 pounds, including the jumper himself, and the equipment,” said Sgt. Kurt Kusterbeck, the battalion’s parachute safety officer, from Smithtown, New York. “So some of the heavier individuals will be carrying less gear and the lighter guys would be carrying more to even out the team’s insert needs.”

With a total of 32 Marines jumping and landing safely, the training provided each jumper the confidence to perform these missions in the future.

“It was a really successful jump operation. We had eight Marines fully transition train to the new parachute so now we are all ready to jump the chute for whatever need the Marine Corps may need,” said Kusterbeck.